Alonso expects to be in better shape for Brazil

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Fernando Alonso expects to be in better shape for the last round of the season as he continued to recover from the back injuries he sustained during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Alonso hurt his back during the race at Yas Marina when he went off the track at turn three while overtaking Jean-Eric Vergne. He had special medical tape applied to his back during the United States Grand Prix race weekend to ease the symptoms of his injuries.

Following the race Alonso told Sky: “I am tired because I physically didn’t have a good preparation for the race. I spent a week in bed with headaches.”

“It was then a stressful weekend with all the battles, and the race was demanding, I had to fight all the way through, so I am tired now.”

Although Alonso secured second in the drivers’ championship with his fifth place in the race, Ferrari remain locked in a close three-way contest for second in the constructors’ championship with Mercedea and Lotus.

“Hopefully I will feel better in Brazil, less tired, and be able to enjoy the weekend more,” said Alonso.

“But there are still targets with the constructors’ championship, so it’s not as if I’ll be racing for fun in Brazil. There will be a lot of stress and pressure for the team, but we’ll try and do as well as we can.”

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.